Energy Direct Debits: Get money back & your payments lowered Discussion



  • When sending a bill prior to increase in DD I have noticed the meter reading is often brought forward by a few days to exclude the latest DD payment. This means the bill only shows 2 payments, rather than the three which would have shown me in credit. It is clearly easier to get away with an increase in DD if your bill is showing you owe them money. Eon did this to me last month after trying to increase my DD from £97 to £110 despite it only being £45 six months ago! They did drop it back.

    Thanks to all those who suggest giving monthly readings. I have not done this in the past but will certainly be doing it in the future.
  • jem16
    jem16 Posts: 19,397 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Photogenic
    logie28 wrote: »
    when we all run to the comparison sites and put in our monthly DD cost i.e £73 in my case (£35 this time last year,, not a 100% gas price increase !!) the computer will spit out what we should "really" be paying!!

    Making us all think wow wonderful savings,, my new DD is £54 not £73, Massive savings!! But when we stop and look at it, we will get a small decrease in price, but pay the right amount!!

    Always do a comparison based on your annual usage and not your DD amount. That way you will have an accurate picture rather than just one that makes a guesstimate to lure you into changing.
  • KathM_2
    KathM_2 Posts: 14 Forumite
    Just logged onto my bank account to find that E-ON had raised my DD by £75. As I had had no notification and the account was in credit by £300, I rang to complain. The operator insisted that I had been informed on my last bill. When I pointed out that I had online billing and that it was open in front of me and the DD increase was not mentioned, she had the nerve to say that if I clicked on the link to 'print bill' I would see it. She was correct - there was a letter to me informing me of the increase. I'm ashamed to say (no I'm not) that I lost my temper quite spectactularly at that point.

    Does anyone know if hiding the notification where most people are unlikely to find it is a legal form of notification for an increased DD? Once I said I was going to check the legality of this, she immediately backed down, gave me her manager's details, reduced the DD and issued a refund.

    Whilst this has made no difference to me as there was money in the account, I think it is totally immoral doing this 2 weeks before Christmas when so many people are already struggling with the credit crunch and debt.

    I don't agree with E-ON's practice of increasing DD without reason, bearing in mind that she fully admitted that my current payments would leave us in credit at the end of my review year, but to do it in this way is despicable.

    If and only if payments really need to go up, E-ON should be sending online customers an email notifying them (if email notification is legal) and putting it on the front page of customer's personal online accounts. I can only summise they are doing this deliberately.

    As I am so angry I intend to take this further with both the ombudsman and E-ON management (anyone got an E-ON contact name?) and will be switching via cashback as soon as the refund is paid. More fool E-ON - they've just lost a solvent and reliable customer.
  • Im with e-on and i wasn`t happy when my dd went from £76 to £104.I phoned as ive be in credit for over a year and the person on the end of the phone was not helful at all,they would not put it down even though i explained ive had a wood burner fitted and would be using less.I have now stopped my dd and am having bills through the door.So i will now pay for what i use and they will not have any of my money!
  • Well I for one, will be following your advice and calculating my usage a.s.a.p. Thank you :beer: - one other point though, I'm always in credit so its not just seasonal, so I'm debating 'Postponeing' my direct debits for the next couple of months and allow my £200+ credit to be used. This shouldn't affect my credit rating as they have enough of my mony to cover that period - any thoughts?


    I used to work for British Gas, and have a few hints

    First of all, alweays have the figures for your last years consumption to hand, 12 months worth of bills, and ensure you are working to an actual, and not an estimated meter reading.

    To last years bills total amount, add any debit amount still outstanding, or deduct an credit owed. Remember to factor in an increase for price increases, and divide by twelve.

    This is roughly your monthly payment, if they disagree and tell you that it calculated based on consumption, just remind them that your bills are also calculated based on comsumption and so the figures correlate.

    If they still refuse to budge, speak to their superior, if they fob you off, just get the name of the managing director and email them asking them why their practices defy logic - for BG customers this is Phil Bentley and he has committed on TV to answering any billing enquiries that remain unresolved.

    Given that i know how the system works, i still had a huge amount of trouble trying to get my payment reduced, i was literally at my wits end with what they were syaing to me, and eventually they agreed to a figure within 10% of my calculation.

    if you need any help, email me me on [EMAIL=""][/EMAIL], and i will try to help you out. Please be aware though, that i work full time, and my help is based on goodwill, i can't see any of your bill enquiries through personally.

    Remember - they want your money as regular monthly cashflow, and you want the DD discount, this is in everyones interest, but it is not in tehor interests to have to administer refunds each and every year.

    In answer to Cheytz - the company is under no obligation to provide payment terms to you, this essentially a convenience tool, which they offer under their terms alone, unfortunately this means they set the level, but they will listen to reason, you just have to cajole them a bit first

    Good luck
  • Well I for one, will be following your advice and calculating my usage a.s.a.p.from my previous 12 months worth of bills - Thank you :beer: - one other point though, I'm always in credit so its not just seasonal, so I'm debating 'Postponeing' my direct debits for the next couple of months and allow my £200+ credit to be used. This shouldn't affect my credit rating as they have enough (credit)of my money to cover that period - any thoughts?

  • On the flip side to this discussion....

    I got a bill to say that I was £190 in debit but there was to be no change to my DD amount :confused:

    I thought that this was disgusting as after the winter I would have been even more in debt to them. Fortunately I was in a position to pay off the debit amount and have since increased my monthly payments. (Done myself via my online account)

    I emailed Eon and told them that the way they deal with underpayments is unfair as there would be many people getting increasingly into more debt. Whilst I fully agree with overpayments being unfair, allowing people to get into debt is also not right :mad: Am I alone in this situation?
  • backfoot
    backfoot Posts: 2,700 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    British Gas on a change from Standard to an online tariff tried to up the Gas from £38 to £44 when the appropriate figure should have been nearer £30. On electric they went from £18 to £35 when the appropriate figure was around £22.

    After writing to them on five different occasions,they finally conceded their error at last. I asked for compensation and they refused. I threatened to take the matter further with the Energy Ombudsman and they folded immediately and offerred £20.

    Don't let these idiots mess you around.:D
  • I give online meter-readings every month now, so that I can always refer to my up-to-date annual usage when countering their "calculations" with logical figures. They never seem able to explain what they base their calculations on. My latest letter, from Atlantic Electric and Gas, kindly offers me the option "to pay off all or part of the balance on your account which is currently £151.05CR"!!! Yes, that's right, it's IN CREDIT. The same letter proposed to raise my bill by £6 pcm more than necessary, in spite of the fact they could have seen my last year's actual usage from two readings exactly a year apart.
  • Hi. After all the talk about energy providers hiking up the amount of direct debits and that accounts are usually in credit by quite a lot I decided to check my account out. My energy provider is British Gas for both gas and electricity. It turns out that my gas account is in credit by £190 and my electricity account is in credit by £180. I appreciate that I have not received my winter bill yet, so obviously it will not be in credit by as much as that. Am I better off requesting a refund for say £50 from each account or lowering my direct debit amounts?
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